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Defective Building Materials

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 25 May 2021

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Questions (246, 247, 248, 249)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

246. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the names of the members of the independent working group to examine the issue of defective housing; the qualifications of each; the remuneration they are to receive for their work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27564/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

247. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the dates on which the independent working group to examine the issue of defective housing has met to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27565/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

248. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the agenda for each of the meetings of the independent working group to examine the issue of defective housing that have taken place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27566/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

249. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the terms of reference of the independent working group to examine the issue of defective housing are to be signed off and published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27567/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 to 249, inclusive, together.

The Programme for Government sets out a number of commitments in respect of the important policy area of building defects and provides for an examination of defects in housing, having regard to the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing report, "Safe as Houses".

In this regard, my Department has been actively engaging with key stakeholders and I have had several meetings with stakeholder representative groups on this matter.

I appointed Mr Seamus Neely, former Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, to the position of Chair to the independent working group. In line with the fees payable to Chairpersons and Members of State Boards, a Category 3 fee of €11,970 per annum is payable to the Chairperson in the interest of value for money but taking account of the complexity of the work involved. The Chair will oversee the effective implementation of the group’s terms of reference which have recently been adopted and will be available in due course.

The membership of the working group includes representatives, with relevant expertise and experience, from Engineers Ireland (Mr Michael P. Lyons), the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (Mr Joe Kennedy), the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (Mr Kevin Hollingsworth), the Public Sector (Mr John O’Connor), the Local Authority Sector (Mr Peter Finnegan and Mr Seamus Coughlan), the Legal Sector (Mr Christopher O’Toole), the Department of Finance (Mr Gary Hynds), Construction Defects Alliance (Ms Ciara Holland) and Apartment Owners Network (Mr Des McCabe).

The inaugural plenary working group meeting was held on 26 March 2021 and the working group also met on 23 April and 21 May.

To date the agenda of the plenary meetings have included the following:

- Welcome and overview from Chair

- Code of Business Conduct

- Notes of last meeting (where applicable)

- Terms of Reference

- Presentations

- Update from sub-groups (where applicable)

- Schedule of upcoming meetings

- AOB

In regard to the working group’s deliberations, the group will seek to engage with a range of interested parties, including homeowners, public representatives, local authorities, product manufacturers, building professionals and industry stakeholders, among others to examine the issue of defects in housing and report to me on the matter. Arrangements in regard to the consultation with relevant parties will be agreed by the working group in due course.

Question No. 247 answered with Question No. 246.
Question No. 248 answered with Question No. 246.
Question No. 249 answered with Question No. 246.
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